Daily Current Affairs and GK | 1 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 01 May 2024 17:55 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Polity

1. The government is planning to replace the existing Explosives Act of 1884.

  • To further promote ease of doing business, the government will replace the existing Explosives Act of 1884 with a new law.
  • Government introduces the draft Explosives Bill 2024 to replace the Explosives Act, of 1884.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has proposed increasing the fines for violating of regulations.
  • Under the new law, If a license holder, violates regulations he/she could face imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of Rs 1,00,000, or both.
  • Under the provisions of the new bill, if someone is found in possession, using, selling, or transporting any explosive, they may face imprisonment for up to two years, a fine of Rs 50,000, or both. 
  • The government will also designate an authority, which will be responsible for issuing licenses for the manufacture, use, sale, import, and export of any explosive material.
  • At present, the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) is responsible for the manufacturing, possession, use, sale, import, and export of any explosive material.
  • The Explosives Act of 1884 was enacted by the British government to regulate the manufacture, storage, possession, use, sale, import, and export of explosives.
  • The Explosives Act of 1884 gave power to authorities to conduct inspections of premises where explosives are stored or used to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Topic: Geography

2. On 30 April 2024, the Ruang volcano in Indonesia erupted.

  • Indonesia’s Ruang volcano is located off the island of Sulawesi.
  • When it erupted earlier this month, the airport was closed and hundreds of people had to be evacuated.
  • Following the eruption on 30 April, the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation in Indonesia increased the alert level to the highest.
  • There are more than 800 people living on the island of Ruang in the North Sulawesi province. The majority of whom have been evacuated.
  • The volcano is located about 100 km from the provincial capital Manado.
  • Indonesia is located on the "Pacific Ring of Fire." The Pacific Ring of Fire is the meeting point of many tectonic plates, a region with intense seismic activity.
  • Ruang is the southernmost stratovolcano in the Sangihe Islands arc.
  • A stratovolcano is also called a composite volcano. It is a conical volcano made up of many layers.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Alok Shukla has won 2024 Goldman Prize from Asia.

  • He has won Goldman Prize or Green Nobel for Hasdeo Aranya campaign.
  • Goldman Foundation said Hasdeo movement is a model for environmental justice in India.
  • Alok Shukla is convenor of the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan.
  • He is the founding member of the Hasdeo Aranya Bachao Sangharsh Samiti.
  • He has won for efforts to protect the forests of Hasdeo Aranya in Chhattisgarh.
  • The community campaign led by Alok Shukla saved 445,000 acres of biodiversity-rich forests from 21 planned coal mines in Chhattisgarh.
  • In July 2022, the 21 proposed coal mines were cancelled by the government in Hasdeo Aranya.
  • The forests of Hasdeo Aranya are popularly known as the lungs of Chhattisgarh.
  • They are also a catchment area for the Hasdeo River, which is a tributary of the Mahanadi.
  • Hasdeo Aranya was declared as no-go zone in 2010.
  • Goldman Environmental Prize:
    • The Goldman Environmental Foundation gives the Goldman Environmental Prize. Richard and Rhonda Goldman founded the prize in 1989.
    • The Prize recognises grassroots environment leaders from six regions.
    • These regions are Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South and Central America and lastly, islands and island nations.
    • The winners are awarded $200,000 as prize money.

Topic: Important Days

4. International Labour Day: 1 May

  • International Labour Day is celebrated every year on 1 May to pay tribute to the contribution of workers around the world.
  • The theme of International Labour Day 2024 is to ensure workplace safety and health amidst climate change.
  • In 1886, around 2,00,000 American labourers demanded eight hours of work-day and a huge strike took place.
  • Later, the movement turned violent in Chicago. It was remembered as Haymarket Affairs.
  • This marked the beginning of International Labour Day. 
  • International Labour Day was first observed on May 1, 1889, by a coalition of socialist parties in Europe.
  • Ever since, the day has been observed annually.
  • International Workers Day and Labour Day are observed together in several nations.
  • This day is celebrated on a different date in numerous nations.

Topic: Economy and Banking

5. According to the IMF, growth in Asia-Pacific is expected to slow in 2024.

  • According to the IMF's Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific, economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region is better than previously estimated but is expected to slow from 5% in 2023 to 4.5% in 2024.
  • The International Monetary Fund said in its Outlook report that the region remains inherently dynamic and accounts for about 60% of global growth.
  • The Asia-Pacific region has been marked by both resilient growth and rapid deflation.
  • The Asia-Pacific region (commonly known as APAC) is a part of the world defined by its proximity to the Western Pacific Ocean, typically encompassing much of East Asia, South Asia, and Oceania.
  • The drivers of growth are as diverse as the region itself, including resilient domestic consumption in most ASEAN countries, strong public investment in China and especially India, and strong growth in tourism in Pacific Island countries.
  • Deflation has increased across the region, although at different paces–in some, it remains above target (Australia and New Zealand), in others, it is at or near central bank targets (emerging markets and Japan).
  • While some have deflation risks (China and Thailand).
  • The IMF said Asian central banks should continue to focus strongly on domestic price stability and avoid basing policy decisions on anticipated interest rate moves by the Federal Reserve.

Topic: MoUs and Agreements

6. NHPC and a Norwegian firm partnered to implement floating solar power technology in India.

  • An MoU signed between NHPC Limited and M/s Ocean Sun, a Norwegian company to act as a technology provider for the floating solar industry.
  • NHPC Limited is the largest hydropower development organization in India.
  • As per the MoU, NHPC, and Ocean Sun will explore key areas of collaboration for the demonstration of Ocean Sun's floating solar energy technology based on photovoltaic panels.
  • The panels will be mounted on the hydro-elastic membrane at relevant sites identified by NHPC.
  • In continuation of NHPC's efforts, this agreement is for sustainable development and enhancing renewable energy capacity.
  • It is engaged not only in hydropower development but also in various renewable energy projects like solar, wind, and green hydrogen projects.

floating solar power technology in India

(Source: DD News)

Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
March Monthly Current Affairs 2024 February Monthly Current Affairs 2024
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

7. On 30 April 2024, India and Croatia organised the 11th session of Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi.

  • During the Consultations, both sides discussed views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  • They comprehensively reviewed current bilateral relations.
  • They also reviewed strengthening of cooperation in fields of trade and economy, defence and maritime, science and technology, innovation, tourism and culture.
  • They also emphasized the importance of strengthening people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
  • Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West) led the Indian side during the Foreign Office Consultations.
  • They stressed on the need for early conclusion of an India-EU Free trade Agreement that is comprehensive, balanced and mutually beneficial.
  • India established diplomatic relations with Croatia on July 1992.
  • Indian Mission in Zagreb (capital of Croatia) was opened in April 1996.
  • It was upgraded to Ambassadorial level in January 1998.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

8. Embassy of India, Kathmandu organised Post Investment Summit India-Nepal B2B Meet.

  • Embassy of India, Kathmandu organised the B2B meeting after the third Nepal Investment Summit in Kathmandu Valley.
  • The B2B meeting was organised in collaboration with the Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) and Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI).
  • 35 delegates from the Millenium India International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCIA) and Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry attended the B2B meeting.
  • During the B2B meeting, a MoU for cooperation between MICCIA and NICCI was signed.
  • The 3rd Nepal Investment Summit was organised from 28-29 April 2024.  
  • An agreement was signed by Nepal’s BLC Group and India’s Yotta Data Services Private Limited for setting up and operation of a Data Centre.
  • The First Investment Summit was held on March 2-3, 2017. The Second Investment Summit was held on March 29 and 30, 2019.

Topic: Indian Economy

9. India's core sector growth declined to 5.2% in March.

  • The growth of the core sector has slowed to 5.2% in March from 7.1% in February.
  • In March, coal (8.7 per cent), crude oil (2 per cent), natural gas (6.3 per cent) and steel (5.5 per cent) declined.
  • The output of refinery products (-0.3 per cent) and fertilisers (-1.3 per cent) contracted during March.
  • The Output of cement and electricity increased by 10.6% and 8%, respectively, in March.
  • The core sector witnessed a growth of 4.2 per cent in March 2023.
  • Electricity generation showed a positive growth expansion in March and maintained a robust pace in April.
  • In FY24, growth in the core sector stood at 7.5 per cent as compared to 7.8 per cent in FY23.
  • During this financial year, all eight constituent sectors registered positive growth.
  • The eight core industries account for 40.27 per cent of the weighting of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Topic: Science and Technology

10. IIT Guwahati has developed a 3D-printed dummy ballot unit.

  • The Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation of Kamrup Election District has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati to develop an inventive 3D-printed dummy ballot unit.
  • The 3D-printed dummy ballot unit's main objective is to inform citizens, mainly first-time voters and senior citizens, about the voting process.
  • This dummy ballot unit was created using 3D printing technology and PLA, a biodegradable material derived from corn starch.
  • It was created by researchers at IIT Guwahati in merely 48 hours.
  • The dummy ballot seeks maximum voter participation by offering a practical experience.
  • It has unique interactive elements such as sound and light output indicators to assist users during the voting process.

Topic: International News

11. Scotland's first Muslim First minister resigned after 13 months in office.

  • On 29 April, British Pakistani Scottish First Minister Hamza Yousaf announced his resignation ahead of two no-confidence votes tabled this week, one against him and one against his government.
  • Hamza has also left the post of Scottish National Party (SNP) leader.
  • Yousaf's leadership has come under criticism after the collapse of the SNP's coalition with the Scottish Greens, leading to two motions of no confidence from opposition parties this weekend.
  • In 2023, the SNP had faced many challenges, including a funding scandal and the departure of former leader Nicola Sturgeon.
  • The Scottish Parliament has 28 days to nominate a replacement otherwise an election will be called.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

12. IUCN representatives will be observers in the Nilgiri Tahr survey in Tamil Nadu.

  • From April 29, the Tamil Nadu Government will execute a synchronized survey of the state animal with a resolve to remove the Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) from endangered status.
  • The three-day exercise is being conducted to estimate the population of Tahrs, which once roamed the length and breadth of the Anamalai and Nilgiri landscapes.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this animal as an endangered species and protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.  
  • According to a report released by the World Wildlife Fund India in 2015, currently, there are around 3,000 Tahrs in the Western Ghats, and a sizeable portion is concentrated in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR).
  • In 2020, the Nature Conservation Foundation found about 510 individuals in ATR, the second largest population of the species after Eravikulam National Park in Kerala.
  • For the survey being conducted with the Kerala Forest Department, the habitats in Tamil Nadu have been divided into 13 forest divisions, 100 forest beats, and 140 potential blocks.
  • It is also the state animal of Tamil Nadu.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

13. AstraZeneca admits its Covid vaccine, Covishield, can cause rare side effects.

  • For the first time, UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca admits in court that its Covid vaccine, Covishield, can cause rare side effects known as Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).
  • AstraZeneca is facing allegations of severe harm and deaths caused by the vaccine.
  • AstraZeneca developed the vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford to develop Covishield.
  • Jamie Scott claimed that after the vaccination in April 2021, he suffered a blood clot that left him unable to work.
  • 51 cases have been lodged in the High Court, with victims and grieving relatives seeking damages estimated to be worth up to £100 million.
  • Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) is an extremely rare condition due to the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) and low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia).
  • It is also known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).
  • AstraZeneca had also collaborated with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to supply the vaccine to the Indian government.

Topic: Important Days

14. Ayushman Bharat Diwas: 30 April

  • Ayushman Bharat Day is celebrated every year on 30th April.
  • It is observed to raise awareness about its Ayushman Bharat Yojana. Its main aim is to transform the lives of people.
  • Under this scheme, the Indian government wants to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was launched to give free treatment in government hospitals and clinics to needy individuals.
  • Under this scheme, free health care coverage of Rs 5 lakh is provided to more than 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families.
  • The PM-JAY program is funded entirely by the central government but the state government also shares the cost of its implementation.
  • PMJAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan AarogyaYojana (AB-PMJAY) was launched by Narendra Modi on 23rd September 2018 at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
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